ESOL in Goochland County

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ESOL in Goochland County - Just another Goochland County Schools Blogs Sites site

Adversity; Use of Schoology for Dialogue and Demonstrating Empathy

We are starting a new unit for both Grade 6 and 7 ESOL, which involves learning about Martin Luther King’s contribution to Civil Rights in the U.S. during the 1960′s. I have divided the unit into two parts.

Part 1: Introduce Unit with theme song, “Lean on Me.” Discuss the theme/central idea. Review key vocabulary, journal and writing activities (apply theme to their lives).

Part 2: Read Reading A-Z book “Martin Luther King Jr.” Use the reading strategy of summarizing to understand text, understand and identify cause-and-effect relationships, identify and recognize prefixes/suffixes/base form through the use of sticky note strategies (leaving marks in our book).

We have just wrapped up with Part 1 of this unit, and I would like to share one the journal activities my ESOL students completed. Students completed their journal entries on Schoology, which is an online collaborative interface where students can access lessons, share journals, make comments to each other, etc.

Students were asked to reflect on the song “Lean on Me” in which Bill Withers sings “Sometimes in our lives we all have pain. We all have sorrow, but if we are wise, we know that there’s always tomorrow.” Based on this message, I asked students to hone in on the topic of adversity in their writing, which was the key word for the unit. I asked students to journal about a time when they had adversity, pain, or sorrow in their own lives.  Students were asked to share what they did to be “wise” or to fix the problem.

Student’s journal responses were written on Schoology. Their stories were powerful and very personal. Schoology interface allows the entire class to access the writing/journaling of other classmates, they can read what each other say and respond (just as you would on FaceBook). A couple of my students shared stories related to immigrating to the United States; stories which involved poignant examples of adversity. In addition, several students shared stories about death and how they felt.

Using this topic of “adversity” was a wonderful way to share about painful experiences and to hear student’s voices. This provided a venue which allowed me to teach my students how they can demonstrate “empathy.” As we all know, empathy is a learned behavior, an unknown skill set if they do not learn it at home. For this reason, I felt it important to give students pointers on how they can be empathetic. I went through the different ways they could show empathy to each other.

Following were some of the pointers I provided students in order to create empathetic responses.

  • Repeat something that someone has said or shared or ask a question. This shows empathy because it shows that we were truly listening.
  • Give a compliment to the person or say thank you for sharing. This shows empathy because we are reinforcing the fact that we appreciate that the person shared.
  • Give advise. This show empathy because it shows that you truly care about this person and that we want to help.
  • Say something nice and reassuring. This shows empathy because we are trying to comfort someone, again showing that we care.

I was so impressed by several of my students responses to each other on Schoology. Here are a couple student responses to a journal entry in which one of my students shared about her dog dying.

  • “Awwww so sad because your dog was everything for you :( :( Did you get another dog after Monkey died? What kind of dog was it?
  • “How did your dog got stuck in your door? Did your dog want to get inside of your house. I’ll find a way to help you.”

Here’s a student working on her “empathetic response” to a student entry. Overall, Part 1 of our “Martin Luther King; Civil Rights” unit has been a wonderful way for students to make personal connections to the subject of adversity. I found that Schoology was a wonderful platform and way in which students could share and empathize with each other!!!

Santa’s Christmas Miracle Field Trip

Our ESOL volunteer/tutor, Ms. Liz, organized a field trip for two of the GES ESOL families today to the Children’s Theater at Willow Lawn, where we all watched “Santa’s Christmas Miracle.” Ms. Liz’s insisted on covering all expenses of this outing as a Christmas present for all of us!!! This was also an opportunity to expose our ESOL families to the arts and culture. The outing was chaperoned by myself and the two ESOL mothers, along with their respective children (ESOL students).

What a blast we all had!!! Thanks Ms. Liz for an amazing holiday present!!! The event was topped off with a visit to see Santa, pictures with the cast of the play, along with lunch at Dairy Queen. Following are some pictures of our day!

 

ESOL Resource

Part of ESOL resource classes at GHS and GMS focus on study and test taking skills. In addition to this, these classes focus on organizational skills.

This past Friday, the last 15 minutes of class were devoted to organizational skills. I was delighted to watch one of my sixth grade students take over and help her classmate with organizing her backpack and binder. This student’s organization capabilities are definitely a strength. She proactively took over and cheerfully helped her classmate to organize all the materials from MP1.

What a delight both of these two young ladies students are:) Here is a picture of them hard at work.

Here’s a happy sixth grader-who now has a very organized binder and backpack, thanks to her classmate:)

Just Can’t Believe It!!!!

This fifth grade ESL student is reading all by himself!!! This picture was taken by our very pleased and devoted ESL tutor, Ms. Liz. What an amazing sight to see for all of those who have been involved with this student’s education. This student has had a long row to how for the first 5 years of his elementary education experience (preK-4). Studies show that students usually show that they can bridge two languages by grades 4 , especially if they receive the support they need in order to acquire a second language. This student has made us all proud this year, as reflected in his MP1 report card where he nearly reached A/B honor roll.

I attribute this student’s success to the following factors.

1). Devoted teachers and tutors who ensured that this student’s academic needs were attended to. This student is reading “Geronimo Stilton,” a high interest book that has many graphic clues and pictures to scaffold. This book was recommended to him by teachers and tutors who kept on encouraging him to find high interest reading.  They also focused on fluency and vocabulary comprehension.

2). Emphasizing leadership. I thank the tutor and certain teachers for believing in this student and emphasizing that he is capable of leadership, despite the fact that he struggles (ed) academically in the past. Currently, this student has been given “safety patrol” position at his school. We have seen so much positive behavior from this student, such as caring about other’s safety and following through to the end (respect and proactivity). This is reflected in the fact that this student is independently reading, as is required every day per homework requirements.

 

TPCAST in Song Lyrics

Currently, I am using TPCAST in both my Middle School and High School students to reinforce deeper level reading skills and scaffold for the interpretation of poetry . The poems/song lyrics we are analyzing are “Someday Never Comes” by Creedence Clearwater (Middle School) and “I Set Fire to the Rain” by Adele (High School).

TPCAST

Title. Without reading the poem, what do you think it will be about?

Paraphrase. Next to each stanza, write the poem in your own, every day language.

Connotations: What meaning goes with (con) the language that is being used? Keep a close eye out for: Alliteration, allusion, diction, imagery, metaphors, onomatopoeia, rhyme, rhythm, simile, and the speaker. Make notes in the margin about the meaning of the language.

Attitude: What is the author’s tone? Make notes in the margin about this.

Shift: Look for shifts in tone, action, rhythm. Identify the shifts by highlighting them and make a note in the margin.

Theme: What does the poem mean? What is it saying about life?

TPCAST

Título. Sin leer el poema, ¿qué crees que va a ser?

Paráfrasis. Al lado de cada estrofa, escribir el poema en su propio lenguaje cotidiano.

Connotaciones: ¿Qué significado va con (con) el idioma que se está utilizando? Mantenga una estrecha vigilancia en cuenta: aliteración, la alusión, la dicción, las imágenes, las metáforas, la onomatopeya, la rima, el ritmo, el símil, y el orador. Tome notas en el margen sobre el significado de la lengua.

Actitud: ¿Cuál es el tono del autor? Tome notas en el margen de esto.

Shift: Busque cambios de tono, acción, ritmo. Identificar los cambios marcándolos y hacer una nota en el margen.

Tema: ¿Qué hace el poema significa? ¿Qué dice acerca de la vida?

 

Ms. Sally

I want to recognize Ms. Sally-a tutor and volunteer-who works tirelessly with two of my ESOL elementary students at GES. Here are a few of the things that Ms. Sally has done over the last year to help me with these ESOL students.

1). Reading buddies. Ms. Sally reads with my ESOL student during lunch as a reading buddy.

2). After school tutoring. Ms. Sally currently works one to two days a week after school to assist my ESOL students with their homework tasks and home projects. She helps my ESOL students complete projects that their non-English speaking parents are unable to help them with because of the language barrier.

3). At home tutoring. Last year, Ms. Sally traveled to my ESOL student’s home two times a week and then during the summer months in order to provide at home tutoring. Her summer tutoring extended to other ESOL students in the community-as my student’s home was a gathering place for other ESOL students/parents.

4). Ms. Sally acts as a liaison with parents, teachers, administration. Many times, important letters are not effectively delivered or understood by our non-English speaking parents. Ms. Sally takes the time to ensure my ESOL parents receive important messages/communication or deliver translated letters.

Ms. Sally has saved the day for me on several occasions when I’m not at GES. She fills in the gap or calls me when extra assistance is needed. I couldn’t do without Ms. Sally and her tireless devotion to making sure that the needs of all students are met. Thank you Ms. Sally for all that you do!!!!

Ms. DeLong’s Dual Language Kindergarten

This year, I have the privilege of collaborating with Ms. DeLong, a Kindergarten teacher at GES. Currently, we are serving two ESOL students in this classroom. We have very little sheltered language training at GES as our ELL population has only begun to increase at a more rapid rate only in the last two years. We rely on resources that we glean on our own and share with each other. Recently, I shared with Ms. DeLong the following article “WIDA Focus on The Early Years: Dual Language Learners.” I am so proud to see that Ms. DeLong is proactively doing so many things this article talks about to make her Kindergarten classroom dual language friendly.

1). Ms. DeLong constantly refers to her non-English speaking student to say things in their language and to spotlight the things they already know. Ms. DeLong uses Google Translate on a regular basis to help her translate words/phrases into Spanish. For example, when Ms. DeLong teaches numbers in English, she also teaches them in Spanish. I recently participated with Ms. DeLong as she was teaching her Kindergartner’s the Letter “O” through the activity entitled “O is for Owl.” On the board, she wrote “I see the owl” and alongside she wrote “Veo el búho.”  She had one of our Spanish speaking students repeat this Spanish phrase and teach the rest of the class.

2). Ms. DeLong uses Google Translate to write daily messages to one Spanish-speaking parent (who speaks no English) in the agenda to communicate how the student’s daily progress in class or to communicate upcoming events or needs. She also just wrote the student’s entire interim report in Spanish by using this translating engine. This was an enormous help to me as collaborating ELL teacher-as I currently work K-12 and the job of translation for each and every parent is becoming an increasing task. Ms. DeLong also encourages our non-English speaking parent to participate in classroom and PTA events-with the help of Spanish speaking volunteers and myself.

3). Ms. DeLong utilizes dual language story books and other resources in class to help the second language student understand and feel accepted. She independently seeks out dual language story books from our library and also utilizes dual language story books from Reading A-Z.

4). Ms. DeLong constantly communicates with me-the ELL teacher-to make sure the needs of our dual language students are met. Her concern and care for my ESOL students is equal to that of each and every one of the students in her class. I’m SO appreciative of her openness, flexibility, and patience. Thank you Ms. DeLong for going the extra mile to ensure our Kindergarten ESOL students have a wonderful kindergarten experience!!

Following is a picture of a class activity in which all students created dual language posters re: to colors and the letter “c.”

Measuring Up Live

Every year, I have asked our ESOL program to purchase and online program called Measuring Up Live.

I have found that this program is a great resource for yearly, on-line SOL preparation. The standards on MUL correspond to Virginia Standards. In addition, I can select which standards I want my students to work on, which correspond to standards they are working on in their general Math, Science and Language Arts classes. For example, for Life Science and Physical Science, I can select the first category of “Scientific Investigation, Reasoning, and Logic.” I am able to monitor the progress of my student understanding and retention in this category via the administrative program. MUL provides a performance key of three levels “Below Proficient, Proficient, Advanced Proficient.” My student’s proficiency level is currently set at 70%, which then allows me to move them onto a new standard when they have shown me that they have obtained the measured goal for comprehension.

My students enjoy this program because it provides instantaneous feedback for students after every question is answered. If the student answers the questions incorrectly, an explanation of the incorrect answer is provided. Students are required to continue until they select the correct answer. Finally, students enjoy a small game after they answer 5 questions correctly.

Parts of Speech Books

For my Middle School students, grades 6-8, I plan on having them create “Parts of Speech” books.

1). Mini-Lesson: We will start with a small review of each part of speech at the following site: Grammaropolis

2) Creation of Parts of Speech Book. Students will create a book, either on their iPads using the app “Book Creator” or with regular paper. The books will contain the following: Definitions of parts of speech (i.e. noun, verb, adj), definitions and examples of the types of nouns, pictures to correspond, and finally sentences combining and identifying as many different types of nouns as possible.